A couple of weeks ago, Flatbike got a much-anticipated international delivery with a number of firsts:
- First look at the CHANGE mountain frames
- First look at the CHANGE road frames
- First look at the CHANGE 612 high-end mountain bikes
- First delivery so large it took multiple trips from the warehouse.
But first, we had to carry all 35 bikes up the steps to the Flatbike shipping center and take inventory.
Then the fun started, as we checked and shipped all the bikes that folks had been ordered in the two weeks since we got a customs arrival date–the only pre-ordering we do, although there are plenty of special requests and “dibs!” that don’t involve collecting money yet.
One of these orders was from Emmanuel, who ordered a CHANGE 733 folding road frame between the two days of Bike Expo NY. We popped open the box for a first look and quality checking.
From here, for the enjoyment of tens of people everywhere, we’re going to get technical about the fine points of the CHANGE frame design, starting with the rear dropouts. Note that they are vertical. As with anything, there are tradeoffs to vertical dropouts:
- Pro. Designed for maximum ease in removing your rear wheel and putting it back straight.
- Con. Generally not compatible with non-derailleur systems that cannot take up chain slack, from belt-drive to fixies to internal hubs, unless you plan for an add-on chain tensioner.
For more on the nuances of dropouts and derailleur hangers, see Greg Kopecky’s excellent article in Slowtwitch.
Note that the folding frame joins together inches below the bottom bracket. The brilliant outcome of that design is that the chain ring and chain on your folded bike never dig into the dirt, get worn down, and cause you maintenance problems. Another difference with other folding bikes.
Folding the frame–literally a 5-second operation–brings a full-size bike down to about 35″ in length, depending upon the length of the handlebars.
A final note about shipping.
Let’s be honest. You can put FRAGILE signs, stickers, and warnings all over a box, and someone along the trip is still going to knock it over, stack it upside down, drop it, and who knows what else. So good packaging really, really matters.
Is a CHANGE folding frame right for you? Do you want dibs on a 612 folding mountain bike in an upcoming order (since we’re almost out already)? Or are you just glad that we finally replenished our stock of sizes and colors of the 702 commuting bike? Let us know!
Whatever your needs, we hope you can get out soon and enjoy the weather. It’s national bike month!